Baku's Icherisheher goes through major reconstruction work [UPDATE]

30 June 2020 11:43 (UTC+04:00)

By Laman Ismayilova

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have viewed the restoration and conservation works carried out in a part of the Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve on June 29.

The restoration and conservation works have been carried out on the initiative of First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

The last time Gosh Gala Gates were restored in 1956-1957. Splits and deformations were found on the both sides of the monument  two years ago. 

The restoration work and strengthening of Gosha Gala and the fortress walls adjacent to Aziz Aliyev Street were carried out in 2018-2019.

As a result, arched passages of the gate were strengthened, paths and steps leading to the watch tower, "soldier's road" passing through this part of the fortress wall were restored.

The head of state and the First Lady were informed about the work done this year and forthcoming next year in the Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve.

Children's entertainment and sports ground was created here. Moreover, Center for traditional crafts will be established in the territory adjacent to the Bukhara Caravanserai, a monument of the 15th century.

President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva were also informed about  IstedArt project, which has been implemented since 2018 at the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

The project covers 10 boarding schools for children with disabilities and deprived of parental care in Baku, adjacent towns and villages, as well as the Center for the Rehabilitation of Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome. So far, 154 talented children and adolescents have taken part in the project. Currently, preparations are underway for the 5th season of the project. Some 23 children will be involved in the next stage.

Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva then viewed an underground bathhouse dating back to the 17th century. The bathouse was discovered during archaeological excavations carried out near Ghosh Gala gates in 2016.

Conservation and restoration work in the bathhouse was carried out for two years. A total of 85 artifacts were discovered in the bathhouse. 

As in all eastern baths, half of the bath is built underground, and the other above the ground in order to maintain the temperature. Therefore, the bathhouse was warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Furthermore, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva  viewed the boiler building. Note that one of the interesting points here is the presence of underground tracks.

In general, there were several baths in Icherisheher. The baths of the Shirvanshahs Palace, Gasim bay, Haji Bani, Agha Mikail, Agha Zeynal and the underground bath are historical monuments that are protected by the state.

Not far from Gosh Gala there is also Baku Khans' Palace, dating back to the 17th-18th  centuries. Until 1806, the rulers of the khanate used this complex as their residence.

Baku Khans' Palace includes residential buildings, a khan’s garden, an underground bathhouse, a medieval well, the ruins of a pottery workshop, an irrigation system, a khan’s mosque. Restoration and conservation, as well as improvement work here began in September 2018.

Baggal Gallery, which holds exhibition-sale of souvenirs and traditional crafts, a book house as well as cafe also operate here. 

There is also a beautiful park, which will undoubtedly become one of the most favorite places for recreation for Baku residents and the city's guests.

After reconstructions, Baku Khans' Palace will function as a museum. Here, the wide audience will learn  the history of ancient Baku city, revived by modern technologies. 

Artistic-historical and animated films reflecting the country's historical past will be screened at the museum.

Currently, the work on the project is underway. The museum's opening ceremony is scheduled for the end of the year. The work was carried out here with the the financial support of Pasha Holding.

The building of Baku Khans' Palace was transferred to the disposal of Icherisheher Center for Traditional Art.

The Center was founded in 2012 on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. A single space has been created at the Center for master classes, sale of art works.

In addition, national brand "DASTAN",  which features four separate types of decorative and applied art, such as ceramics, batik, jewelry, woodwork and decorative painting, will be presented in a new showroom.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva gave instructions regarding upcoming work.


Akbar Mammadov  is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97

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